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Thread: The True Definition of Calories i.e. "Why what you believe is extremist BS" page 8

  1. #71
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    Primal Fuel
    This is a really interesting thread.

    I agree with the OP, calories do matter and people that use Primal to justify their overeating problems are not going to lose weight/fat.

    I often get asked for advice as I have lost a considerable amount of body fat (20%+ to 6-8% currently) and I think the following has been important for me personally:

    Get out of the car and walk where possible - I always walk to the shops (about half a mile away)
    Train hard or go home - Kettlebells have helped in this regard
    Eat clean food where possible - limit processed food.
    limit carbs to a hand size portion on the plate and fill with protein and veggies
    use fasting as a tool to break plateaus - i use leangains
    If you want something to eat, eat it and then get back on it the next day. This becomes rarer the further down the line you are but its important to give your body what it wants sometimes.

    I don't have the scientific backup others do but this has worked for me and my OH who has gone from a size 14 to size 6/8.

    It is out there if you want it but there are no shortcuts. It was a change in lifestyle for me. People still laugh at me because I don't eat bread but I don't sweat it. I know I am buying years on my life. I want to be here for a good time and a long time

  2. #72
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    Fat people aren't lazy and gluttonous just like alcoholics don't lack self control. There are reasons why some people can stop after a few drinks and others can't stop until they are far too drunk for their own good...and its not self control, it has to do with their brain chemistry. And the same applies for someone that can eat just a couple cookies and not think twice about as opposed to someone that says "I am just going to have a couple cookies" and then eats the whole box. There is a LOT more to it than just being lazy and gluttonous...obestity, in my opinion, has a lot more to do with how someone's brain works and how it drives them to eat.

  3. #73
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    Get out of the car and walk where possible - I always walk to the shops (about half a mile away)
    Train hard or go home - Kettlebells have helped in this regard
    Eat clean food where possible - limit processed food.
    limit carbs to a hand size portion on the plate and fill with protein and veggies
    use fasting as a tool to break plateaus - i use leangains
    If you want something to eat, eat it and then get back on it the next day. This becomes rarer the further down the line you are but its important to give your body what it wants sometimes.
    I wish this worked for me.

    And yes, 900 calories would suck. How active are you? I think a lot of my issue is that exercise doesn't help anymore. I don't know if I am just efficient or what? I do the weights, but cardio gets me no where.

    I actually worry about the future- and getting to a point where I can only have 800 or 900 calories a day. It's depressing. I've stalled and have maintained very well on about 1400 calories a day plus 3x a week bodyweight and other random exercise. However, that was the level I was losing at. I'd hate to have to go to 1200 to maintain and then 1000.... and so on. With about 30 lbs. to lose, it's a depressing thought.

    It sucks to skim out healthy food. Now I'm looking at one fruit a day instead of two. Eliminated chocolate, next up is the coffee. Don't eat excess fat. The only large portions are protein- but the advice is to get what, 1 gram per pound of lean body mass- most days I don't come close. And this is with 30lbs to lose (and it's legit- 184- 155 is my goal... only 5'6 so I have obvious fat to lose). It seems like every 10 lbs I need to cut another 200 calories to lose.

    Personally, I don't think it's MDA's role to fix me. But damn I wish someone would do more research into people who struggle to lose weight despite following CICO and eating healthy foods. It's like there is zero help. I think people here *get it* and are actually pretty understanding compared to the wonderful MD's.... (skip the fast food and walk..... said to a marathoner vegetarian).

    It's sucky to work hard at something and not succeed.... and it smarts a bit more when people assume you are not actually trying. I think that attitude turns off a lot of people.

  4. #74
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    There are reasons why some people can stop after a few drinks and others can't stop until they are far too drunk for their own good...and its not self control, it has to do with their brain chemistry
    Again, not for everyone..... What about people who can and do control what they eat- there are probably 10 people here off hand I can think of that comply quite well and aren't out of control. Hell I used to do that- eliminated wheat, problem solved.

    It's like I've gotten everywhere but increasing or stabilizing my metabolism. As an active 5'6 woman I don't think it's in my best interest to just keep cutting calories to lose. I already struggle to get in the rec'd protein within the calorie range I can eat. I guess I can do the chicken breast 3x a day.... but to me that seems like a diet deficient in a lot.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    Ok, thought of some gnawing questions. I am sure already answered in other threads but I havent really found my answers.

    But if CICO is the thing, what is everyone's take on the following:

    Does it matter when you consume them? Some say 1) Eat breakfast first thing. Jump start your metabolism. Some say 2) Eat smaller more frequently, keep your metabolism revved. Some say 3)Dont eat often, don't snack. But what difference does it make at the end of the day so long as you have a deficit?

    Hitting you "macros" at the end of the day is really what matters....and calories. Read the three part IF primer from PKLOPP to understand that just doing IF and not changing caloric NOR macro breakdown causes significant physiological change (in a good way).

    Also - dont go too low on calories. You go into starvation mode? wth is that anyways? Seems like the tooth fairy to me. Good idea on paper but for what purpose, I mean seems to me like one of 3 things. 1. Eat enough to just maintain 2. Eat too much and store the excess 3. Dont eat enough and you lose by pulling from the reserves. If you arent eating enough, then the body is suppose to live on it's reserve right? It makes no sense to me that the body would store fat for a rainy day, but then go into starvation mode and not use it when it is starts to rain. Nothing scientific, just my line of thinking. So it seems to me like, going too low is a non-issue. Now, I get that you arent getting enough nutrients but if you supplement, then if weight loss is the goal, it should be okay until you reach maintenance, shouldnt it? Yet one of the first things ppl say when you plateau is you are probably not eating enough.

    Yes, starvation mode is kinda bunk and kinda not. Your metabolism WILL slow as you significantly restrict calories. Not to the point that you will magically gain weight though. This starvation mode thing is more important to those who start freaking out about being cold while losing weight and end up doing silly stuff like eating pure sugar to boost their metabolism. The real thing to be sure of is that you get adequate nutrition at the very low calories, which means eating nutrient dense foods

    Or they say you should exercise more. But then ppl say it is mostly about nutrition, not about exercise. But if the activity creates a bigger deficit, seems like it should have a direct impact. Like on BL and they exercise 8 hours a day or whatever. It is just when I exercise more, I get more hungry so it seems counterproductive for weight loss. I do understand there are many other benefits but I am just talking about the calories thing.

    Exercise has physiological benefit, but as far as weight loss.....not so much.

    So eating too few brings me to restricted calories vs. fasting. Some say dont restrict too low, but fasting is okay. Does fasting then really work for weight loss? I mean if at the end of the day you consume 1200 calories, does the body care whether you eat 100 calories 12 times a day, or one big 1200 meal. Does it care if you eat every other day and have 2400 calories when the window opens? Does it care if you eat before midnight, after midnight?

    See answer about IF above

    And it seems to me like if it is CICO, why do we have/need a carb curve? Why do we care about macros at all. I get that some macros are more satiating than others, so choose wisely, make it count. I use to drink a gallon of sweet tea a day, 300 grams of sugar. 1000 calories if I figured correctly. If I only drank sweet tea along with my supplements, would I lose weight yes, because it was 1000 calories thus creating a deficit, or no because it was 300 grams of carbs?

    Because carbs DO matter. The ones that matter most are the refined and processesed sort though. You can lose weight eating SAD high carb. The question is what works better for metabolic and physiologic health as you lose weight? There is a difference between healthy metabolic use of carbohydrate and unhealthy. Some of it is genetic predisposition and some is past damage from a SAD life. But, if you should you have to reduce your fruit intake.....or sweet potato....those are personal N=1 matters.

    CICO is confusing. Seems like it should be so simple. I guess I should read the whole article. Maybe it is outlined there.
    See above in bold
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 07-26-2012 at 06:51 AM.

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChocoTaco369 View Post
    BUT - in defense of these forums, it is a much more sensible place than it was a year and a half ago when I joined. People are much more open to eating carbohydrate. When I joined, <50g/carbs a day were the norm. Now, we've moderated to around 100g it seems. 100-150g is probably most sensible for people with desk jobs since it allows a balanced diet without excessive blood glucose. Heavy lifters, please feel free to eat a lot more.
    I was low carb until recently and this article in addition to this forum and The Perfect Health Diet made me realize carbs are important and I do need to watch my portions. I started to worry about what I was doing to my health being low or vlc and feel much better upping the carbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by primalrob View Post
    great article. though, i do think that some people can get a little obsessive over counting. not that that leads to anything bad like orthorexia...i just think that gets in the way of enjoying food (maybe that's a good thing for fat loss if the food reward theories are correct).

    i also liked this:

    even though macronutrient content may not matter, this shows that it does a little bit. protein is a big part of decreasing hunger, so someone will ultimately eat fewer calories. i feel like people are afraid of protein though...maybe even more than fat, or because of fat...so they turn to things that make them want to keep eating more.
    I liked it too... protein and enough saturated fat (but not too much) is important for fat loss. I've done weight watchers many times and gained it all back. Maybe if I'd had enough protein and saturated fat I would have kept it off.

    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    The first statement says over-eating caused you to get fat. The second one says if you got fat, you overate, but the possibility remains that another factor led to you to overeat.
    Very true. Someone said it's still a choice. If you think your mind is stronger than your body you're wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marnee View Post
    The problem isn't calories in the sense that this is shorthand for the Law of Conservation of Energy. The problem is with the bomb calorimeter model of human metabolism. Not every metabolic process is oxidative and no oxidative process burns molecules down to ash. But this is what happens in a bomb calorimeter.

    Consider that the heat output of incinerating protein is 7 Cals / gram. But humans do not burn protein directly. We first convert it to amino acids which are then converted to glucose which then is used to produce ATP which is used as energy in mitochondria.

    Also consider that although the ratio of heat output of glucose to fat is 9:4 Cals/gram, fat produces many times more ATP than glucose (see Wikipedia entry on ATP). Many times. The ratio of 9:4 is a little more than 2. Is this "many times" more? I dunno for sure but I highly doubt it.

    Fat is used for far more processes than energy, but heat output/ oxidation is all that is assessed. Why? I think this is a very bad proxy.

    These are the most obviously glaring problems with the bomb calorimeter model, aka "calories count."

    As far as I can tell there is not a 1:1 relationship between the heat output of a bomb calorimeter and human metabolic rate.

    Until this is resolved, approximating your "Calorie needs" and then counting them in your food is useless as anything other than a (kinda bad) proxy for quantifying and understanding how much one eats.

    I think mindfulness from simply logging your food, and some careful, systematic restriction, is far more useful.
    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by gopintos View Post
    Ok, thought of some gnawing questions. I am sure already answered in other threads but I havent really found my answers.

    But if CICO is the thing, what is everyone's take on the following:

    Does it matter when you consume them? Some say 1) Eat breakfast first thing. Jump start your metabolism. Some say 2) Eat smaller more frequently, keep your metabolism revved. Some say 3)Dont eat often, don't snack. But what difference does it make at the end of the day so long as you have a deficit?

    Also - dont go too low on calories. You go into starvation mode? wth is that anyways? Seems like the tooth fairy to me. Good idea on paper but for what purpose, I mean seems to me like one of 3 things. 1. Eat enough to just maintain 2. Eat too much and store the excess 3. Dont eat enough and you lose by pulling from the reserves. If you arent eating enough, then the body is suppose to live on it's reserve right? It makes no sense to me that the body would store fat for a rainy day, but then go into starvation mode and not use it when it is starts to rain. Nothing scientific, just my line of thinking. So it seems to me like, going too low is a non-issue. Now, I get that you arent getting enough nutrients but if you supplement, then if weight loss is the goal, it should be okay until you reach maintenance, shouldnt it? Yet one of the first things ppl say when you plateau is you are probably not eating enough.

    Or they say you should exercise more. But then ppl say it is mostly about nutrition, not about exercise. But if the activity creates a bigger deficit, seems like it should have a direct impact. Like on BL and they exercise 8 hours a day or whatever. It is just when I exercise more, I get more hungry so it seems counterproductive for weight loss. I do understand there are many other benefits but I am just talking about the calories thing.

    So eating too few brings me to restricted calories vs. fasting. Some say dont restrict too low, but fasting is okay. Does fasting then really work for weight loss? I mean if at the end of the day you consume 1200 calories, does the body care whether you eat 100 calories 12 times a day, or one big 1200 meal. Does it care if you eat every other day and have 2400 calories when the window opens? Does it care if you eat before midnight, after midnight?

    And it seems to me like if it is CICO, why do we have/need a carb curve? Why do we care about macros at all. I get that some macros are more satiating than others, so choose wisely, make it count. I use to drink a gallon of sweet tea a day, 300 grams of sugar. 1000 calories if I figured correctly. If I only drank sweet tea along with my supplements, would I lose weight yes, because it was 1000 calories thus creating a deficit, or no because it was 300 grams of carbs?

    CICO is confusing. Seems like it should be so simple. I guess I should read the whole article. Maybe it is outlined there.
    All good questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    Once again, I'll point out that humans have very little conscious control over their caloric intake in the long term. Caloric restriction in the long term has about a 98% failure rate for weight loss, with a large number of people actually gaining more weight back then they lost.

    So suggesting caloric restriction as a method for weight loss is not supported in the real world. People would lose weight if they absorbed less of their food - why not just ask them to do that? It's pretty much the same thing.

    Personally, I have found that satiety is the key to controlling caloric intake naturally. I think this idea is becoming more supported by data and will continue to gain support in the coming years.
    +1,000
    Last edited by healthy11; 07-26-2012 at 06:50 AM.

  7. #77
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    I actually worry about the future- and getting to a point where I can only have 800 or 900 calories a day. It's depressing. I've stalled and have maintained very well on about 1400 calories a day plus 3x a week bodyweight and other random exercise. However, that was the level I was losing at. I'd hate to have to go to 1200 to maintain and then 1000.... and so on. With about 30 lbs. to lose, it's a depressing thought.
    It is very depressing how little a woman needs to eat and how little exercise lifts the limit (and yes, I am talking about exercise at the brink of over-reaching). I was away on vacations, and had reacted badly to local water abroad. For about 5 days I had bad case of you know what, and by day 3, I could not even drink liquids. Until I get filled up on 3 super-strong stomach medications cocktail. 5 days of food coming through me until I gave up on eating and drinking all together, and that's when I got flat stomach that eluded me for the last 2 or so years of vigorously trying. I was only walking the city for about 5-6 hours a day at a tourist's pace. So, basically, I should really eat every 3 days or so, and I will be at my best....

    Even more depressing being sick was the only time I did not experience hunger. As soon as medication kicked in, I was voraciously hungry and came home only about 1 lb less than when I left. For the past few years after losing pregnancy weight, hunger has been my constant companion. From horrid carb hunger, many of us experienced to that nagging hunger you get when you eat proper macro ratio for your make-up. I lost my ability to fast in the past few month, I just can't do it.

    A 800-1000 cals range is barely enough to get sufficient proteins in, with little room for fat and carbs.

    Depressing, depressing and more depressing.
    Last edited by Leida; 07-26-2012 at 07:04 AM.
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimhensen View Post
    Fat people aren't lazy and gluttonous just like alcoholics don't lack self control. There are reasons why some people can stop after a few drinks and others can't stop until they are far too drunk for their own good...and its not self control, it has to do with their brain chemistry. And the same applies for someone that can eat just a couple cookies and not think twice about as opposed to someone that says "I am just going to have a couple cookies" and then eats the whole box. There is a LOT more to it than just being lazy and gluttonous...obestity, in my opinion, has a lot more to do with how someone's brain works and how it drives them to eat.
    Maybe there's some hope for this troll!

  9. #79
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    We can measure calories in, but we can't really measure calories out, because metabolism is dynamic and can change minut-by-minute. This leads people to (incorrectly) assume that since calories out can't be measured or tracked, then it must not exist.

    If you want to see an example of your metabolism change, try eating a few spoons of sugar or some fruit. Very shortly afterward, your pulse will likely speed up in reaction to the sugar. This is an indication of increased metabolism. Our bodies are CONSTANTLY adjusting to the amounts and types of food we give it. Eat very low carb or calorie restrict for a few days or more, and your body will slow down metabolism. This may mean that your temperature slightly decreases, your pulse slows down a bit, or any number of unseen internal processes are put on hold.

    This is why those suggestions to 'cut 100 calories a day and lose 10lbs per year' don't work; aside from the fact that calorie intake AND activity levels change every day, the body is very good at lowering it's daily calorie requirement when it senses chronic undereating. This is the reasoning behind calorie cycling; a few days of lower calorie eating to burn off some fat, then a day of normal or higher calories to prevent metabolism from lowering in response.

    None of this means that CICO don't matter, but it does mean that it's much, much more complex than just calorie reduction. Otherwise, there would never have been a need for Lyle McDonald and a bunch of other people to promote calorie cycling.

    I've done 750 calories a day through obsessive, meticulous tracking to the gram of everything that went in my mouth (which means I've refused to taste things I was cooking, for fear of adding one unaccounted mouthful of food to my calorie count). It's miserable, absolutely miserable, and I can understand why people want to believe that there is a better way.

  10. #80
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    This thread must of spawned from an earlier discussion choco and I had about a similar topic. I didnt read the article completely because lets face it, there is TONS of opposing views on the interner that are sourced. I will post my opinion on this.

    Ive been powerlifting for about 6 years, at an assortment of body weights. When i decided to clean my act up, AKA primal, i had been eating whatever i want, ALOT of processed carbs and was still eating quite a bit of fat. I was around 252 at the time and probably 22-25% body fat. I changed my diet to "carb backloading" by John Kiefer which is basically fasting breakfast (coffee with coconut oil) having less then 30g carbs preworkout, and PWO is as many high glycemic carbs you can cram down your throat until bed. Needless to say ive slightly dialed the carbs down and the quality has gone up, but i'm pretty positive my calories are not much less or even the same as when i was 252. I'm now 226 and i'm attempting to switch to 100% primal and slowly leaving the backloading thing because its getting boring.

    This debate will go on forever but i still have a little gut feeling certain types of marco manipulation can have a pretty substaintial effect on FAT loss.

    FYI - John Kiefer is a scientist and not a joe blow personal trainer that has a blog.

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